Manga Review: Orange
Before I Read: I have seen a few images from the manga on Tumblr and I heard this was getting an anime series. My friend Emi told me it would definitely make her cry, so I decide to put the manga on my phone to read while on a trip to Chicago. I love crying on airplanes. I'm excited!
Chapter Reviewed: 9 Chapters. There's only 22 total.
Scanlation Service: Day Of The River Scans, KissManga and read on the MangaStorm reading app.
Ongoing or Complete: Complete.
Plot: Naho Takamiya receives a letter written to herself from ten years in the future. As Naho reads on, the letter recites the exact events of the day, including the new transfer student, Kakeru Naruse. The Naho from ten years later repeatedly states that she has many regrets, and she wants to fix these by making sure the Naho from the past can make the right decisions—especially regarding Kakeru. (Source: Day of the River Scanlations)
STORY: 5/5 - WOW WOW WOW. I was expecting a typical high school shoujo but this just took it to a new level. The main character, Naho, recieved a letter from herself 10 years in the future involving her regrets when it comes to a boy named Kakeru. You find out something happens to him and Naho is trying to follow the letters from her future self to change Kakeru's path and change her own relationship with him in the process. So on top of the typical stories you see in shoujo, school festivals, sport events, joining clubs, fireworks by a body of water, the summer beach trip festival, there's this extra heavy cloud on top. It's touching, moving, sad, and yet so happy. I think at the end of every chapter, my eyes welled up with tears. It like boggles my mind that with so much cliche in the genre itself, the author managed to take them and give them new life. I was so invested in what Naho did to change their paths, fix her regrets and find herself. It really makes you wonder about those tiny what ifs and how they could make such a huge change in someone's life. It's really an incredible story, when this comes out as an anime, it's definitely going to be huge!
ART: 3/5 - The art overall is pretty typical shoujo for the most part. Simple character designs, simple settings, nothing particularly outstanding. I believe the simplicity lends itself to this light airy story. Not saying the characters aren't cute or well drawn. It just doesn't have any special unique style. One thing I do love is in certain voice bubbles for exclamation, she adds polka dots or stripes and it really adds something cute! I just adore that!! The reason I gave it a 3 though, is the color spreads. MAN are they gorgeous! You can tell she knows how to draw. They're all slightly different styles too, from doing some flatter pop art styles with cute patterns, to soft watercolor-esque scenes. They're just amazing!
CHARACTERS: 3/5 - I like the main character Naho, she's cute, shy and sweet. There isn't anything particularly amazing about her though. Pretty standard in the shoujo heroine department. Her friends too, classic best friend scenario. Funky tan party girl and the brooding long haired girl everyone is scared of! They're cute though, and not overly in the story, but I like their dynamic as friends. Obviously this formula works! Kakeru is also pretty standard as a high school main male character with a love of one sport in particular, a general family problem and a dark cloud of secrecy! Oh and don't forget that classic main male character smile, he's got it all! The only thing I will give credit to is the girls are genuinely just friends with the three boys in their immediate group, I was worried it was going to just be three main boys, three main girls, look they're all in LOVE. It's nice to see that girls can be just as good friends with boys without needlessly falling in love. That's definitely refreshing, cause they could have just as easily paired them off.
OVERALL: 4/5 - The story really carries this fresh and new shoujo manga above the competition. It's not like anything I've seen before and I'm happy I decided to read it. The art is pretty standard as well are the characters, but when they're good they're GOOD. I'm very very picky with shoujo manga, as I'm more of a shonen girl. I highly recommend it, especially if you're a fan of the genre, it's a must-read! The anime series comes out July 2016!